With COP26 underway, buying second-hand clothes is one way you can contribute to the fight against climate change. 

Shannon at the Love Not Landfill pop up

Fashion influencer, Shannon Alexandra, at the Love Not Landfill pop-up shop in Angel.

Cancer Research UK has presented a clothing collection in collaboration with influencer Shannon Alexandra at the return of Love Not Landfill’s London charity fashion store, open from 11 to 14 November.

The eco-fashion campaign’s concept store has returned bigger and better with more charities, influencers and collections than in previous years. The 4-day pop-up intends to sell ‘clothes for everyone,’ promote pre-loved fashion and raise funds for each charity involved.

Josephine Mewett, head of retail operations at Cancer Research UK, said: “We are thrilled to present a collection specifically curated by fashion influencer Shannon Alexandra that aims to capture the imagination of young fashion lovers up and down the country.”

The store opening comes as the UK hosts the 26th United Nations Climate Change conference (COP26), bringing countries together to fight climate change. So-called ‘fast fashion’ is known to be a contributing factor to the ongoing climate crisis.

What to expect

Shannon with the collection.

Shannon with her Cancer Research UK collection.

“Shannon has selected up to 500 pieces for Cancer Research UK that highlights the positive impact buying pre-loved can have on the environment,” said Mewett. These have all been taken from the charity’s own donations, just as other influencers have done with their partner charities.

Other collaborations include Crisis x Ismail Stewart, Oxfam x Nova Twins and Royal Trinity Hospice x The Monica Way, as well as a special first-time Love Not Landfill collection curated by Jake Edwards. All profits will go directly to the charities.

Collections feature well-known designer labels at more affordable prices, original pieces and sustainable items that reflect current trends, thanks to the curators’ tastes and knowledge.

The store will celebrate gender-neutral clothes for everyone, be a space to learn more about eco-fashion and the climate emergency, be armed with knowledgeable staff and offer a workshop on Sunday on how to make your clothes last longer.

Olivia Shaw from the Love Not Landfill campaign said: “Don’t be fooled, the most sustainable clothes are the pieces you or someone else already own. The ‘buy it, wear it, throw it away’ model is going out of fashion: rewear what you’ve got, donate or swap fashion, and keep pieces in circulation.”

Environmental impact

The fashion industry has a huge impact on the environment. Clothing production is the third biggest manufacturing industry after the automotive and technology sector, with textile production contributing more to climate change than international aviation and shipping combined, according to a 2019 House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee report.

UK landfill sites see roughly 350,000 tonnes of clothing, worth £140 million, dumped every year. Nevertheless, the fast fashion industry continues to accelerate production, helped by the pandemic and online sales – which is why Cancer Research UK is taking action to support sustainability.

Looking to the future

“Each year, Cancer Research UK typically sees around 25,000 tonnes of clothing given a chance for another lease of life through our network of shops,” said Mewett. “This helps to raise more than £25 million each year for our life-saving work and provides an opportunity for people to shop locally and support a compelling cause.

“It’s never been so easy to find affordable, high-quality, pre-loved clothes with hundreds of Cancer Research UK shops across the country and the option to make your purchase online using our ebay, ASOS Marketplace, or depop stores.”

She added that collaborations like these can inspire us all to think differently about our clothing, our relationship to fashion, and what action we want to take to protect our planet.

The Love Not Landfill pop-up – sponsored by Vanish and Oxwash – is open from Thursday 11th November to Sunday 14th November at 1st Floor Angel Central, 21 Parkfield Street, London N1 0PS.

Check out @CRUKShops on Instagram and Twitter to see more from the pop-up.